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Early founders talk about the entrepreneurial road at Calgary’s Innovation Week

Some of Calgary’s early tech founders came back to Platform Calgary on Nov. 14 as a sneak peek before the launch of Innovation Week YYC.

Nate Glubish, Alberta’s Minister of Technology and Innovation joined Dr. Breanne Everett, Founder & CEO of Orpyx, and Nina Bernasconi, one of the pioneering employees at Skip the Dishes and Director of Financial Partners with Neo Financial, to dive into their journeys in innovation, emphasizing the essential role that technology has played in realizing their goals.

It was an unofficial kickoff to a week of events that will continue to drive growth and innovation in Calgary’s technology sector.

“We want to make Calgary a place where companies can scale to compete globally, to be a magnet for innovative and creative thinkers, and a place where we can accelerate real-world research and development (R&D) through corporate investment and post-secondary collaboration,” said Megan Zimmerman, Senior Director, Business Development at Calgary Economic Development.

Everett said that Calgarians, equipped with the resources and initiatives available in the city, have demonstrated their ability to confront challenges and engage in collaborative efforts within the work environment.

“I think there’s generally a very high level of openness… for collaboration within the community and make sure that stuff happens,” Everett said.

“They were contributing and creating these spaces, partnerships and scenarios to enable growth, contributing to impactful areas.”

Tips for those considering a tech entrepreneur journey

Bernasconi said that to start the journey as an entrepreneur and innovate you don’t always have to be a founder. There are a lot of start-ups or different scale-ups that are looking for people. You can gain experience through working in those early-stage companies and see what it takes to take it to the next level, she said.

“You may not be ready to bite the bullet and start your own business. You can always join something on its way to growth,” said Bernasconi.

Everett encouraged would-be entrepreneurs to embark on new initiatives, saying they should consider the kind of impact they want to make. With a choice to either uphold the status quo or make a difference, she advocates for choosing to strive to improve and contribute positively to the world.

Her advice: “Go for it.”